First published in 1962 as 'La Placa del Diamant', this is considered the most important Catalan novel of all time. This is a new English translation.
Barcelona, early 1930s: Natalia, a pretty shop-girl from the working-class quarter of Gracia, is hesitant when a stranger asks her to dance at the fiesta in Diamond Square. But Joe is charming and forceful, and she takes his hand.
They marry and soon have two children; for Natalia it is an awakening, both good and bad. When Joe decides to breed pigeons, the birds delight his son and daughter - and infuriate his wife. Then the Spanish Civil War erupts, and lays waste to the city and to their simple existence. Natalia remains in Barcelona, struggling to feed her family, while Joe goes to fight the fascists, and one by one his beloved birds fly away.
A highly acclaimed classic that has been translated into more twenty-eight languages, IN DIAMOND SQUARE is the moving, vivid and powerful story of a woman caught up in a convulsive period of history.
I don't know how many times I have reread the book, including several times in Catalan, with such effort that speaks volumes to my devotion to the novel - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
An extremely moving love story translated from the Catalan, which reveals much about the Spanish civil war as ordinary, non-political people had to live it - Diana Athill
Merce Rodoreda (1908-1983) was born and raised in Barcelona. In 1928 she married and in 1929 had her only son, Jordi. She began writing fiction and published her first novel, Aloma, in the 1930s. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936 and during Franco's subsequent dictatorship, Rodoreda sought exile in France and Switzerland, where she remained until the 1970s. In 1962 IN DIAMOND SQUARE was published; it went on to become the most highly acclaimed Catalan novel of modern times and has been translated into more than twenty languages. She was awarded Catalunya's highest literary honour, the Premi d'honor de les Lletres Catalanes, and the Merce Rodoreda literary prize for short stories and narratives was established in her honour. She died in Girona, Spain.